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UNH Innovation Challenge Seeks Ideas

Published Monday Aug 26, 2019

UNH Innovation Challenge Seeks Ideas

UNH Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise is hosting its annual idea-stage competition, the NH Social Venture Innovation Challenge (SVIC) and the competition is open to NH residents and students alike.

The SVIC is an idea-stage competition designed to engage all New Hampshire students and community members and invites individuals or teams (up to five members) from across the state to identify pressing social and/or environmental issues at the state, national or global level, and then find an innovative business-oriented approach to solve them. Winners receive cash and prizes that help bring needed resources to advance these promising models. No detailed business plans or financials are required. The deadline to submit is Monday, October 28. 

Entrants can compete in one of two tracks:

1. Student Track
Open to any current full-time or part-time matriculated student (undergraduate or graduate level) enrolled in any New Hampshire university or college.

2. Community Track 
Open to any current resident of the state of New Hampshire and any UNH alumni living anywhere in the world.

All contestants must prepare two components as part of their entry, a 2-page summary and a 3-minute video which describes the problem and the innovative idea to solve it. Entries can be:

  • a new initiative/idea (budding entrepreneurs!)
  • an existing early-stage social venture (less than one year old)
  • or can be a major new social entrepreneurial initiative for an established venture

“Thanks for engaging me in the SVIC process, it helped reaffirm my vision, says 2018 Community Track finalist, Steve Martineau, Executive Director, Friends Forever International. "The work I did for the competition definitely helped prepare me and the case I built for support from investors. It's well worth the time. We are thrilled to announce the opening of the Friends Forever International Center in Annalong, Northern Ireland. This leadership center will be our hub for Europe and the United Kingdom as well as providing programmatic space for partners, organizations, and businesses from the US and the Middle East.” - 

The competition culminates with the Live Final Round, Keynote and Awards, where finalists pitch their ideas live to a panel of distinguished judges, followed by an inspiring keynote from our Social Innovator of the Year, a New England leader with a demonstrated commitment to social innovation. Social innovators combine the passion and purpose of a social or environmental mission, with the rigor and accountability of a financially sustainable, business-oriented and scalable model for change.

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